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Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Fallen Angels; Walter Dean Myers; Scholastic Inc.; 1998; 309 pages; $6.99; 978-0-545-05576-5; T
Being in the midst of war can be anything but boring. The book Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers is an amazing book with many strong qualities. The main character, Richie Perry, just finished high school and doubts he can afford college, so he signs up for the army. He almost immediately gets deported to Vietnam. There he meets Peewee, Johnson, Lobel, Monaco, Brew, Brunner, and Jenkins. They get called on missions every few days, each with different dangers and one common goal: to stay alive. With death constantly surrounding them and fear slowly consuming them, Richie starts to wonder whether or not he will leave Vietnam in a body bag.

I found this book an exceptionally strong piece of literature that captured the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of a person fighting in Vietnam as if he were actually that person. There is non-stop action and a plotline like nothing I have ever read. For example, since their commander is constantly sending them out on missions, they have to do everything from patrol a neighboring village to make their way through a battlefield and barely survive. Richie is also a character I can relate to, and his thoughts and actions are things I might have done in his situation. There are a couple of near- death situations that really keep you on your toes and remind you that life can end quicker than you could ever imagine. However, this book is not recommended for the faint- hearted and people that cannot take extreme violence in the midst of war. Early in the book, when Richie’s teammate Jenkins is walking back with him from a routine survey, he steps on a land mine and gets killed by a shard of metal that went through his chest. I thought this part was a little too graphic, but soldiers in the Vietnam War had to deal with this all the time.

So if you like fast-paced, adrenaline-filled, action-packed novels, then Fallen Angels is the book for you. I highly recommend this book and it was well worth my time. I rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 for pure literature genius.





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